Chris Paul Rumors are Flying

So let's try to ground them a little. First, here's the Times-Pic:

Though New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul has two years remaining on his contract before he can opt out, his new agent, Leon Rose, who also represents LeBron James, is currently gauging interest from various teams that could seek to obtain him in a trade, according to league sources.

*snip*

"No one from our camp has said that Chris demanded a trade,'' a source close to Paul said Thursday. "But they (Hornets) have not put themselves in position to win this season. We have the same team as last year, basically. The only thing that matters to Chris is winning.''

I'm sick of hearing about sources close to Paul. I hate this kind of vague innuendo. I wonder if this type of behavior started when Chris signed on to LRMR, or if it just seems more prevalent now.

But wait, ESPN says Chris Paul HAS A LIST!!!!! (Dun dun DAAAAH!!!!)

The New York Knicks are the first team on point guard Chris Paul's wish list of clubs he'd like New Orleans to trade him to, according to sources.

Orlando, where he could team with superstar center Dwight Howard, is the second team on Paul's list, which includes Dallas and then Portland, according to sources.

In the ideal scenario, Paul and the Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony would wind up in New York to play alongside Amare Stoudemire, forming a big three that could compete with Miami's newly formed super trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

"Those guys want to beat the three guys in Miami," a source close to the situation said. A report Wednesday on CBSSports.com said Paul saw what James did in signing to play alongside Wade and Bosh and has designs on doing something similar.

Yeah, so the wedding toast thing is back on the table. Fantastic. That list just sounds like an amalgamation of all the places that "sources" have already speculated might be destinations for Paul.

And Ball Don't Lie has an awesome post about the Chris Paul extravaplosion. Go over there and read it all.

It seems to me that the biggest problem with these rumors is that it's really tough to construct a fair trade between the Hornets and any of Chris Paul's suitors. Whenever I see fans proposing trades, they're always hilariously lopsided. "Here, give us the best point guard in the game, who very well could become the best point guard in the history of basketball, and in return, we offer a bag of potato chips. What's that? Not enough? What if we make them BBQ flavor?"

I hope that the Hornets' minty fresh management team at least understands the immense value of Chris Paul and demands a reasonable amount in return.

Still, I'm not sold on the veracity of these rumors. Every source that At the Hive has spoken to about Chris Paul has said that Chris wants to stay in New Orleans. So what's the truth? I see four options:

First, is this gamesmanship? Is Chris Paul trying to goad George Shinn into going above the luxury tax? That doesn't make sense; almost all the decent free agents have already signed. 

Second, is this for real? Does Chris Paul really want to leave? That's entirely possible, although the only sources I've seen for this come through the national sports media, which tends to be hilariously wrong about almost everything.

Third, is this all blown out of proportion? That's entirely possible, as well, but if so, why doesn't Chris Paul just come out and quash the rumors?

Finally, is this a strange marketing ploy by the business geniuses at LRMR? That seems really likely to me, but it could be part of a larger "strategy" by those marketing savants that might include Chris Paul going to a bigger market or a better team.

I'm not sure what the truth is, or even if these are the only four options. Put your thoughts, opinions, ridiculous Chris Paul trade ideas, or suicide notes in the comments. If you see any more crazy-bones stories out there, make sure to FanShot them so I can promote them to the front page.

p.s. please, no suicide notes. That would make me even sadder.

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